(WACO) – A drive down one of the busiest roads in Austin gave Texas State Technical College alumnus Chris Gaydos a vision of what his future could be.
Gaydos, 31, was visiting the city to attend a wedding when he was on MoPac Expressway and saw National Instruments’ sprawling campus. He thought he could see himself there someday.
He had a job interview and two weeks later was packing his possessions in Utah to return to Texas to work at the technology company, which ranked number 235 in Forbes magazine’s 2018 list of the United States’ best midsize employers.
Gaydos is now a staff software development specialist/project manager at the company. His work involves interacting with employees throughout the world to develop software features for hardware.
“Up until two years ago, if you did not have a bachelor’s degree in science, you could not be considered for an instrumentation project,” he said. “I broke the mold. It seems like with people in technical degrees, they are more flexible and more sought after.”
Gaydos has worked at the electrical engineering, hardware, instrumentation software and semiconductor company since 2011.
“Chris brings energy and passion to all his work and challenges our team to think outside the box,” Ryan Tamblin, group manager for National Instruments’ Radio Frequency/Modular Instruments Software Services section, said in Gaydos’ promotion announcement in late July.
Gaydos was raised in Austin and is a 2003 graduate of Lake Travis High School.
He attended the University of North Texas in Denton for one year to study music.
“Everybody around me at graduation time was encouraging me to study music,” Gaydos said. “They said, ‘you are passionate about it.’ After two semesters, I didn’t want to do that for a living. That is when I stepped back.”
His career choice after that also did not involve technology. He looked at what people he knew were doing and saw they were working in the heating, air conditioning and ventilation field.
He visited TSTC and was ready to enroll, but was convinced by a faculty member to check out the college’s Electrical Power and Controls program.
“Electricity is such an intense subject and concept,” Gaydos said. “The first semester was how to wrap your head around electricity. Everything was so new and intimidating. At some point, it connected and I excelled at it.”
Gaydos graduated in 2009 with an Associate of Applied Science degree in Electrical Power and Controls from TSTC.
“The biggest thing I have gotten from TSTC is it gave me the confidence and ability to look at new challenges and learn things,” he said. “I learned a lot at TSTC, but I learned more about myself. It taught me I can teach myself anything.”
For more information on Texas State Technical College, go to tstc.edu.